Reporting from Outside the Box

By Dean’s Intern Ayelet Sheffey at The Durango Herald

Ayelet SheffeyReducedSizeWhen my editor asked me to cover the first public impeachment hearing, I experienced what some might call “imposter syndrome,” in that I did not believe that I belonged alongside the reporters from the large news organizations who were covering the same thing. But nevertheless, I set my alarm for 5am on that Wednesday morning, commuted to Capitol Hill and began to make a game plan on how I would go about my coverage.

I knew that every news organization would be covering the content of the hearing, so I decided to do something a bit different – cover what was going on outside of the hearing.

For about an hour, I stood in the hallway and watched the general public line slowly grow, and when I finally decided to start walking up to random people in line and ask what brought them to the hearing, I was faced with a lot of “I don’t want to be on record,” “I can’t give you my name,” or simply an “I don’t know.”

I was hungry, tired, my feet hurt and I wasn’t exactly in the mood to confront another hostile hearing attendee, but I wasn’t going to walk away without a story, so I headed toward the lobby to see if anything was going on there. As I was walking, a woman wearing an “Arrest Trump” sweatshirt walked by, and I knew that there had to be a story there, so I stopped her, and after interviewing her, my story took off.

I ended up talking to a drag queen, a group of people who had been camping outside of the White House for ten days, high school students who traveled to attend the hearing, and the day after the hearing, I interviewed Rep. Scott Tipton of Colorado’s Third Congressional District on his thoughts after the hearing. If there’s one thing I learned from my experience covering the hearing, it would be the importance of getting over imposter syndrome and recognizing that a 20-year-old intern from a small paper in Colorado has just as much right to be there as the 50-year-old from NBC. And also to wear more comfortable shoes next time.

Link to my clips: